Breathalyser lock to be fitted to all new cars in the EU

Breathalyser lock to be fitted to all new cars in the EU Image -

Modified EU legislation requires all new cars launched from 2022 to be pre-fitted with a breathalyser lock.

The addition was announced by the DGT on the weekend of June 4 after the legislation approved on June 3 was amended to include the new requirement.

All new car models will have to be fitted with the nine advanced driver assistance systems known as ADAS that are designed to improve vehicle safety.

The legislation is for now not mandatory for all vehicles, with each member country being able to decide whether it is implemented generally or only for certain drivers or types of vehicles.

The breathalyser lock will when introduced require drivers to carry out a pre-installed test. Depending on the result of that test, the car will either start or remain locked until such a time as the test is clear.

The test will also provide the driver with feedback, letting the person know what their blood alcohol level is at the time of taking the test. As a result, drivers will be provided instant feedback on whether they are fit to drive or not.

Worrying for some is that the units are programmable meaning that they can be programmed to carry out exhaustive or long term monitoring of the driver or the vehicle in terms of alcohol use.

That information could be subject to abuse by authorities as well as insurers, with more legislation and guidance needed to clarify what information, if any, from the system can or should be shared with authorities.

It is understood the system will be no different to those currently in use with a mouthpiece through which the driver will be required to blow. That in turn will be connected to the engine management system, either blocking or allowing the engine to be started.

 The system will be required to analyse a rate from 0.00 to 2.50 milligrams per litre within 25 seconds.

Manufacturers will also be required to install support systems to ensure that the breathalyser lock cannot be bypassed. That could include everything from facial detection to fingerprints, each of which could be stored in the system’s memory.

The breathalyser lock is added to the ADAS list which currently includes Intelligent Speed ​​​​Assistance (ISA), Rear Camera with Cross-Traffic Detection, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Fatigue and Drowsiness Detector, BAS and EBA Emergency Braking System, Black Box (EDR), Belt Alert in the rear seats, Signal Detection System and Adaptive Cruise Control.

The breathalyser lock is however the only system that will prevent the car from being started if the test is failed.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at